Penny Sparrow
Penny Sparrow

Penny Sparrow to pay ANC now

By CARLO PETERSON Time of article published Nov 4, 2016

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​Convicted racist ​P​enny Sparrow’s​​ woes​ have worsened as she now has to pay the ANC a “substantial amount” for a failed appeal, party lawyer Peter Williams said on Thursday.

Sparrow has ​already been ordered to pay R150 000 to the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation​, ​​plus an additional R5 000 for her racist slurs earlier this year.

Th​is after the then DA member took to Facebook after New Year’s Day and referred to black people on Durban’s packed beaches as “monkeys” who had no education.

The ANC lodged a hate speech complaint against Sparrow, and she was subsequently axed from the DA before being​ convicted​ in the Equality Court.

On June 10​, magistrate Irfaan Khallil found the former estate agent’s words constituted hate speech and a serious affront to the human dignity​ of ANC members and​​ ​of black​ people.

In her Facebook post, Sparrow wrote: “These monkeys that are allowed to be released on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day on to public beaches, towns, etc, obviously have no education whatsoever so to allow them loose is inviting huge dirt and troubles and discomfort to others.

“I’m sorry to say that I was among the revellers and all I saw were black on black skins what a shame. I do know some wonderful and thoughtful black people. This lot of monkeys just don’t want to even try. But think they can voice opinions about statues and get their way. Oh dear.

“From now I shall address the blacks of South Africa as monkeys as I see the cute little wild monkeys do the same, pick drop and litter (sic).”

Khalli ordered Sparrow to apologise and to pay R150 000​​ to the ​foundation.

The magistrate also ordered the case be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for its “consideration regarding the institution of criminal proceedings”.

On July 4, Sparrow filed an application to appeal against the Equality Court judgment, but Khallil found the application contained several deficiencies.

In the criminal case which followed on September 12, a plea and sentencing agreement was reached with the State.

Sparrow was found guilty of crimen injuria and sentenced to a fine of R5 000 or 12 months’ imprisonment. She was also sentenced to two years’ imprisonment suspended for five years.

After she appealed against the Equality Court ruling, lawyers for the ANC personally served a notice on Sparrow in which they notified her that her application for leave to appeal did not comply with the rules of court​, said Williams​.

​“We afforded her 10 court days in which to rectify it, but she failed to do so.​”

The ANC moved to have the application set aside as an irregular step in terms of “rules of court”.

Sparrow appeared in court on Thursday accompanied by her daughter, Charmaine Cowie, said Williams​.

“Ms Sparrow’s application does not comply with the rules of court in that she has not stipulated a service address for the service of documents. It is therefore difficult to serve documents on her personally.

“Secondly, an aggrieved person should lodge an appeal in the high court. Because Ms Sparrow filed her application in the Magistrate’s Court, the court did not have the necessary jurisdiction to entertain the matter,” he said.

Williams said the notice of appeal must be delivered to the registrar and complainant within 14 days of the order made.

“Ms Sparrow’s notice was delivered outside this time period,” he said.

The notice of appeal must also set out the order against which the appeal is directed and the grounds on which it is founded, he said.

“Ms Sparrow’s notice of appeal did not comply with this requirement.”

​Williams said​ Khallil asked Sparrow if she ​was to oppose the ANC’s application to have her notice set aside, and she then opted to withdraw her application to appeal.

Khallil ruled the ANC ​was “substantially successful in its application”. He declared Sparrow’s application an irregular step and set it aside​, said Williams​.

Sparrow was also ordered to pay the ANC’s legal costs, which Williams could not ​quantify on Thursday, but said ​it would be “substantial”.

Williams said the ANC ​was “​extremely pleased”​ with the ruling.

“People should be careful what they post on Facebook, as ill-considered posts can have severe consequences. Incidences such as this constitute a serious affront to the human dignity of black people and it impedes the building of a non-racial society,” he said.

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